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Sharing for Success :Coworking, shared-space offices range from virtual to vast

Entrepreneurs with great ideas for a startup have many costs to consider in turning a vision into an enterprise. One daunting expense involves securing, supplying and maintainin…

Entrepreneurs with great ideas for a startup have many costs to consider in turning a vision into an enterprise. One daunting expense involves securing, supplying and maintaining an office space.

According to fundera.com, business owners can expect to pay from $100 to $1,000 per employee per month for a conventional office, 10% of the total budget for furniture and supplies and $2 per square foot of office space for utilities.

That’s a lot of overhead for a business just starting out. And that’s why shared office spaces have become a popular alternative since their inception in 2005.

Also known as coworking, the premise involves renting anything from a virtual office to an all-in private office with sit/stand desks and office furniture. The benefits include a place to work and meet clients, plus a prestigious business address to wow them without the traditional overhead.

A virtual office at Capitol Hall Executive Offices on Allegan Street in Lansing – right across from Boji Tower – will enable an entrepreneur to work from home in pajamas, but also have access to professional conference rooms and a mail address just steps from the state Capitol without all of the traditional expenses. 

A virtual office, depending on the plan selected, includes a professional business address, mail receipt service and discounted conference room rental, plus add-ons such as a local phone number with voicemail and, eventually, personalized live phone reception. Plus there are no utility bills and free high-speed internet service.

Lansing Shared Office Space, located in a historic building on Prudden Street in Lansing, gives startups access to the main workspace, meeting room and phone room, Wi-Fi, black-and-white printing, parking, the ability to receive mail and a front-desk receptionist for the basic package, which costs $95 a month.

On the other end of the Lansing Shared Office Space spectrum is a private office that accommodates four people, offering the same amenities plus a large, private office that comes furnished and includes sit/stand desks for a monthly fee of $995.

Lansing’s Instant Offices, located in Washington Square, gives clients a modern and technologically powered workspace with a strategic corporate address. While costs can vary based on the amount of space needed and length of contract, a basic virtual office costs $65 a month, while coworking spaces start at $179 per person every month and serviced offices start with a monthly lease of $271 per person, according to the website.

A fourth option is Regus, which operates out of One Michigan Avenue in downtown Lansing. Regus offers a variety of options, including everything from serviced offices with high-speed internet and modern workspaces to virtual offices with call handling and mail-forwarding services.

Virtual offices are shown on the Regus website to run from $2.20 to $8.80 a day, while coworking accommodations start at $6.60 daily. More traditional offices rent for between $7.50 and $10.30 a day. Meeting rooms are also available, with hourly rates that require the user to seek a quote. All prices are based on a 24-month contract, according to the website.

Other local community co-sharing and incubation spaces:

  • The Allen Neighborhood Center offers rental of its incubator kitchen for farmers and entrepreneurs to develop value-added food businesses and build client bases. The center also offers conference room rental.
  • The East Lansing Technology Innovation Center is a business incubator for technology startups and professionals in the Greater Lansing region. It provides collaborative workspace for members, occupying 7,000 square feet of office space, which includes 19 standard offices, two conference rooms and a 3D printer room.
  • The Hatch in East Lansing was designed as a coworking incubator space for Michigan State University students to develop their business ideas. It contains a  common workspace for members at 325 E. Grand River Ave.

Coworking was the subject of a Harvard Business Review survey that took place between 2017 and 2018. The publication collaborated with WeWork, which provides coworking spaces, to survey more than 1,000 of its new individual members in the United States.

According to the Review, 71% of respondents worked full time for companies that are either located in a WeWork office or use WeWork for remote individuals and teams. The remaining 29% included business owners, contractors, sole proprietors and part-time workers. 

Results of the study indicated:

  • Coworking spaces give some members a sense of professionalism and credibility that traditional remote working does not.
  • Workers with company-subsidized memberships feel that their employers take their needs seriously – regardless of where they are located.
  • Coworking spaces help new businesses make a positive impression on potential clientele.

How to contact them:

Capitol Hall Executive Offices: 

Lansing Shared Office Space: 

Instant Offices:


Allen Neighborhood Center:

East Lansing Technology Innovation 

The Hatch:




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